Pacific Victoria Italic (Pacific States)

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McGrew, in his discussion of Victoria Italic (in all its versions) says "In 1898 the Pacific States Type Foundry in San Francisco showed the face [Victoria Italic] with a lowercase as Pacific Victoria Italic and at the same time ATF showed Regal Italic with essentially the same lowercase." (McGrew, 327; see also the 1898 ATF Desk Book [1]).

This raises several questions, some from the point of view of type foundry history, some from the point of view of type design.

The Pacific States Type Foundry (called Hawks & Shattuck prior to 1892) had close relations with the Central Type Foundry before the Central was amalgamated into ATF in 1892 as one of ATF's major components. The 1889 Hawks & Shattuck's New Specimen Book , for example, contains many Central faces. Pacific States was not amalgamated into ATF (it continued until it was destroyed in the fire after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake). One would presume that as they chose to resist amalgamatio into ATF, relations with the Central Type Foundry division of ATF and with ATF itself after the consolidation of their operations was less close after 1892.

Victoria Italic (Central) was cut in two stages. The first eight sizes were cut for Central by the independent matrix engraving firm of Schroeder & Werner, which existed from either 1888 or 1889 to Schroeder's departure from the partnership in 1891. The series was finished by Werner at some point after that but presumably before he joined the Inland Type Foundry after its founding in 1895.

So up until the amalgamation of Central into ATF in 1892, Pacific States could have offered Central's Victoria Italic (I say "could have" because I lack any evidence that they did). But McGrew references only an 1898 showing, and Loy, writing about Schroeder in 1898, says that Schroeder had cut "recently a lower case for the various sizes of Victoria Italic, from 6-point to 24-point." [2]

So what was Pacific States using for the uppercase for Pacific Victoria Italic circa 1898?

The design issues have to do with the fact that this was a plate gothic with a lowercase, which may or may not have been lining.

The existence of a lowercase in a plate gothic is unusual to begin with.

The existence of a lowercase in a lining face is quite unusual.

I have yet to see a specimen for Pacific Victoria Italic and do not know for certain whether it was a lining face as Victoria Italic (Central) was. The simultaneously introduced Regal Italic (ATF), which also included a lowercase, may or may not have been lining. The later Lining Regal Italic No. 2 (ATF) included a lowercase and was lining.

1. Notes

1. American Type Founders Company. Desk Book: Specimens of Type[,] Borders & Ornaments[,] Brass Rule & Electrotypes [and] Catalogue of Printing Machinery and Materials, Wood Goods, etc. . ([no location specified]: American Type Founders Company, 1898.) See references to online reprints of it in the CircuitousRoot ATF Notebook.

2. Loy, William E. "Designers and Engravers of Type," No. 11 - Gustav F. Schroeder. The Inland Printer. Vol. 22, No. 3 (1898-12), p. 338.

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